Category Archives: Opinion

Why I Don’t Host My Blogs Myself

Today was one of those days. As I got to the office, I received a notification that a server was down. Fixing this web server put a claim on all of my time that day, and even bit a chunk out of my free time as I got hime.

Web servers are complicated beasts. In principle, setting up your own hosting is very simple. You lease a server or VPS, install MySQL, PHP and Apache and get started. However, the devil is in the many details. You need to set up all those different modules, and so on. It’s like you are opening a puzzle box, and not all the pieces are marked properly.

In theory, I could setup my own web server. It sounds tempting: spend 10 to 20 dollars a month on a VPS, quickly setup LAMP and host as many sites as I want. Or, in reality, as many sites as my server can handle.

Because that’s the problem, isn’t it? It’s all simple in theory. But in reality, dealing with web servers is often a frustrating venture. You can run into all sorts of problems just to set them up. And when the time comes to keep your server secure, you need to spend the time updating the different parts and hoping that you don’t somehow break something in the process.

I admire the people that can setup their own server. They are probably saving money in the long run. However, if I were to follow their lead I’d have to invest a lot of time into the ordeal. Time that I’d rather use on things I’d rather be doing: writing blog posts, looking into interesting technology or making videos.

Why I benefit from shared hosting

For me, shared hosting is simply a better match. I pay roughly the same what I’d pay for a VPS, but I don’t need to invest any time in setting up the server.  There is no need to do updates of the server. Maintenance wise, shared hosting couldn’t be easier for me.

There’s also a big set of tools that you can use that’ll make your life easier. Installers for WordPress and Joomla, setting up a new database with just a few clicks, monitoring tools built straight into Cpanel. When you want to dig deeper into your websites and start tuning and optimizing things, the options are there. But they’re strictly optional.

Of course, there is a dark side to shared hosting. You are sharing resources on a server. Depending on your hoster, this might lead to poor site performance.

Fortunately, the Joomla community pointed me into the way of Siteground. I had my doubts at first, but after using them for three years I can say that their shared hosting is top notch. Websites hosted on their server are fast, responsive and have an extremely good uptime. Combine that with the usual tools and some very cool WordPress and Joomla tools that the guys at Siteground have built themselves, and some features you don’t find in other shared hosting solutions and you’ve got a winning solution if, like me, you don’t want to host your sites yourself.

When using Siteground, even managing updates is taken out of your hand. Joomla and WordPress will be updated automatically for you, which means you’re always up to date. All you need to look after, are the plugins you’ve installed on your website.

Another upside of shared hosting, and using Siteground specifically, is the support. Now, I rarely need or use their support options. But on the rare occasion that I did, their support was fast, knowledgeable and more than willing to solve my problem.

The fact that I can just sit back and relax thanks to Siteground is a big reason why I prefer not to host my websites on myself. If you’re wondering ‘Should I host my own websites’, then the answer is ‘It depends’. Are you willing to commit the time, or are you more interested in taking care of your website yourself?

If you are looking for a hosting solution where they take the hard work out of your hands, then give Siteground a try.

Let’s help each other out

Are you looking to sign up for quality hosting? Cool! Consider giving Siteground a try. In the process, we can help each other out. If you sign up through my affiliate link, you

  • Get an optional free site transfer
  • Get a big discount on your 1st year of hosting
  • Might be eligible for a discount, if you’re coming from another hosting company.

Of course, there’s also something in it for me. If you sign up, I get up to three months of hosting for free. That’d be an awesome gift, allowing me to focus on my writing.

You can sign up for this deal right here!

Or, if you want to check out what Siteground has in store first, you can click the banner below and decide later.

Web Hosting

Advertisements

[Q&A] Are we dissappointed in Joomla?

Here at Joomla and More we have never tried to hide the fact that we aren’t always happy with all things Joomla. That lead to one Twitter user asking what, exactly irritates us and “where we moved on to” (which we alluded to in a tweet.

We decided to answer the question in a video, instead of writing a long form blog post. You can see the video at the bottom of this post.

In the video we discuss:

  • What we believe Joomla’s strengths are
  • Which things irritate(d) us.
  • What has been keeping us busy when we weren’t working on Joomla things.

The video is roughly 20 minutes long.

Did Likes Kill Conversations?

Yesterday, I couldn’t help thinking about a trend that I have noticed lately. You see, I started a brand new blog (which you can find here) about my photography. In a few days, I saw quite a few links incoming. More than I get on this blog on average (although the sharp decline in quality posts is probably to blame for that) but not a single comment. Continue reading Did Likes Kill Conversations?

Dextronet And The Tale Of Free Bras For Dudes.

This morning, like every other morning, I was looking for a way to become a productive member of society by finding a way to translate my e-mails in todo items.

Since this feature is apparently not needed in Outlook on the Mac since we’re all either designers whose only ToDo item is “Design awesome shit” or programmers whose only ToDo item is “Work on badass FOSS and argue about PHP on Twitter”, I looked elsewhere. Google lead me to Dextronet’s Swift Todo list.

However, before I could check out the features of their product, Dextronet threw their product at me like a desperate salesman. Imagine you are browsing your local BigStore and you’re checking out their selection of finer BigBrand boxer shorts, and a desperate salesman walks up to you. After making eye contact for three seconds – and you can see the crazy – she puts three bras in your cart. You don’t use bras, because you’re of the male persuasion. (Sorry, Tumblr, dudes don’t wear bras, ever.)

You stare at the saleswoman and point in the general area of your crotch and want to say “I have a penis, not boobs”, but she runs off, cackling like a mad woman, screaming “They are free, keep them, I don’t want them anymore.”

Right, context. I was on the website of Dextronet and casually clicked a link to find out more about this app of theirs. Much to my surprise, I landed on a “Thank you for your downloading” page.

Thank you for doing what?! I did no such…

And yet, in the bottom left corner of my browser, a file was downloaded. I was miffed, but I thought “Well, I’m used to installing crap and then removing it after five minutes, i guess…” HEY, WHAT IS THIS?

 

 

2016-03-15_08-31-47
I’m doing what, now?

 

An .exe file. The proverbial bra for my very much male Mac.

Dextronet et others, I appreciate that you want to push your bra’s (hehe) on people, but please, please…

  • At least ask me if I want them.
  • Assuming I want them, at least take me to the *right* download page.

No need to make things awkward, Dextronet. But you did.

In case anyone wants to try it for yourself (and why wouldn’t you?), you can try it yourself. Go to this page, and click the very first link. http://www.dextronet.com/blog/turn-emails-into-tasks-just-drag-drop-them-into-swift-to-do-list/

Oh, and don’t refresh the page. They’ll throw more bras at you.

The up- and downsides of adding Joomla to your company name

There are quite a few Joomla ‘shops’ out there that have named their ‘company’ or brand after Joomla, the CMS they’re working with. Joomla Templates, Joomla Code Gurus, Joomla Hosting. If you can think of a subgenre of Joomla related services, someone has slapped the Joomla brand on it to make it his own. But is that really a good idea?

the advantage

It’s obviously clear what kind of services you’re offering. A site called “Pretty Good Joomla Templates” offers Joomla templates. You expect them to be knowledgeable of Joomla stuff.

the downside

On the other side of the medal: Congratulations: you’ve just pigeon holed yourself into the niche of Joomla [insert products]. Whenever someone reads your brand name, they’ll assume that you’re focused on Joomla only. Not just Joomla – but a subcategory of Joomla services. While it’s nice to carve out a part of a niche market (and with a 10% market share, you can still call Joomla a niche) this will also mean it’ll be hard to move on if you want to sell other products.

Of course, some develpers are convinced that once they start making stuff for their favorite CMS they’ll never want to move on. Drupal is for nerds, WordPress is for plebs, Ghosts are scary and Kirby is the pink dude in Nintendo games, right?

But the reality is that, someday, you might want to move on as your skills expand. Even Akeeba, best known for it’s Joomla tools, has expanded in the WordPress realm where they’re offering a backup solution. Akeeba could do this without any problems. Know why? Because they’re Akeeba, not JoomlaBackupSolution. They can easily offer more products and services, and they’re still a big name in the Joomla community.

The truth is, although it’s tempting to slap the Joomla name onto your brand, in most cases it’s smarter to develop your own brand. Whether it’s because you want to explore new CMS’es or want to do completely different after a while.